Riviera Maya, also known as the Mayan Riviera, was originally called the Cancun - Tulum corridor. It's situated on the Caribbean coastline of the of the Quintana Roo state, located on the eastern part of Mexico, refered as the Yucatan Peninsula. Important, not to mix the Yucatan state with the Yucatan Peninsula. Yucatan state is more in-land and do not touch the Caribbean Sea, although it directly touches Quintana Roo.

Riviera Maya (Quintana Roo state) holds many important cities, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, the Island of Cozumel and its capital Chetumal. Less known to the public but to be mentioned is Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal. Near Cancun, the Island of the Women (Isla Mujeres) is an important tourist destination.

Riviera Maya is internationally known for it's many All-Inclusives Resorts & Hotels, and obviously for it's outstanding beautiful beaches. There is a large variety of small boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants from Playa del Carmen to Tulum city.

Attractions & Activities (truly the best part of the Mayan Riviera) :

One of the region main attraction is it's barrier reef system, known as Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (or the Belize Barrier Reef). This gives tourists access to some of the most amazing snorkeling and diving tours on the planet. This barrier reef  is the second longest in the world. Thousands of colored fish, sea turltes, manta rays can be seen all over the coast at anytime. Whale-sharks can also be spotted in summertime, and dolphins are also often reported right off the coast. 

Mayan Ancient Ruins and Archeological Site are only a few steps away from your hotel. You can't miss the Chichen Itza ruins, one of the 7 wonders of the world. Another incredible archeological site to visit is Coba, wich was the first Mayan downtown in Mexico. Probably the most famous site of it all is Tulum archeological site. Tulum is the only site directly built on the beach by the Ancient Mayan community, offering an unbeliveble view of the Mexican Caribbean sea. Ek Balam is less popular than the others but is also a magnificent site to go visit.

Theme Parks like XCARET, XPLOR & XEL-HA are also very popular and totaly worth spending the day. They offer differents activities, from snorkeling the cenotes in XEL-HA, to Zip Lining and exploring the Stalactites and Stalagmites caves in XPLOR. Visit the natural beauty of XCARET, underground rivers, butterfly pavillion, coral reef aquarium, and so much more! At night, the park comes alive with more than 300 artists to perform the amazing Mexican Show, a musical journey that will take you around Mexico with a festival of lights and colors. Simply amazing!


Night life in Playa del Carmen

For all the night life people, they won’t be disappointed. Playa del Carmen lights up at night with its fabulous 5TH avenue. This is a pedestrian street where you’ll find shops, restaurants, bars, discotheques, entertainment, banks, and basically everything you need. On top of it, it’s very safe to walk around at any time of day or night.


Mexican pesos, American dollars, Canadian dollars, Euro and English pound are welcome mostly everywhere. Always better to change money directly at a local back. To change money in a bank, remember to bring your original and a copy of your passport (this should be the only time you carry your passport with you). Always better to pay in pesos when dealing directly with local people, ex: taxi, local shops and restaurants on 5th avenue.


Water and Ice

Don’t drink water from any tap, not in a restaurant, not in your hotel. Water and ice cubes served in restaurants and in hotels is always purified water. Most likely they serve you bottle. As for ice, you can tell it’s filtered by the hole in the middle of the ice cube. If you go out of your hotel and off 5th avenue make sure you double check those details.


Time Share sales rep …. Pirates of the Caribbean do exist in Mexico !!

From the moment you land in Cancun, you’ll be solicited by time-share sales people. Between where you get your luggage and the exit of the Cancun airport there is hundreds of time-share people. They will tell you all this crap about activities and tours half-price, they also ask you to leave a deposit, and they will tell you that they are not time-share. DO NOT LEAVE MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW, sounds obvious but may people still do it … Just walk out and go directly to your designated tour operator. You will find the same people on 5th avenue and on the beach. They'll tell you the exact same thing. Obviously, you will be solicited at your hotel by the so called; vacational club. If you want to take the info, go and do it, otherwise tell them no right away or they will call you up early every morning to invite you to the special breakfast. If you receive a phone call, just ask if this is your direct tour operator, if not then you know it,s the time share team!

Melia, Sol Melia


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